Palestinian Centre for Human Rights
Press Release, 16 December 2014
In excessive use of force, on Tuesday early morning, 16 December 2014, Israeli forces killed a Palestinian civilian in Qalandya refugee camp, north of occupied Jerusalem. The aforementioned civilian was killed when Israeli forces moved into the said refugee camp to arrest Palestinians. A number of Palestinian youngsters gathered and threw stones at Israeli soldiers to stop arrests. As a result, a civilian was wounded as he was standing on the roof of his family’s house in Antar quarter in the north of the refugee camp. Israeli forces claimed that an Israeli unit was fired at near Qalandya refugee camp, so they opened fire in response, killing a Palestinian and wounding another one. However, investigations conducted by the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) refute the Israeli claim.
According to investigations conducted by PCHR, at approximately 03:00 on Tuesday, 16 December 2014, Israeli forces moved into Qalandya refugee camp, north of occupied Jerusalem, to arrest Palestinians. Dozens of Palestinian youngsters gathered and threw stones and empty bottles at Israeli soldiers, who opened fire in response. As a result, 21-year-old Mahmoud Abdullah Odwan sustained a bullet wound to the head. Odwan was standing on the roof of his family’s house in Antar quarter in the north of the refugee camp, less than 700 meters away from Qalandya checkpoint. He was transported to Palestine Medical Compound in Ramallah, but a medical source pronounced him dead upon his arrival at the Medical Compound. Israeli forces arrested 26-Mojahed Hamad, a playground security officer of the Palestinian Football Federation.
PCHR is deeply concerned over this crime, which further proves the use of excessive force by Israeli forces against the Palestinian civilians in disregard for the civilians’ lives. Therefore, PCHR calls upon the international community to take immediate and effective actions to put an end to such crimes and reiterates its call for the High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949 to fulfill their obligations under Article 1; i.e., to respect and to ensure respect for the Convention in all circumstances, and their obligation under Article 146 to prosecute persons alleged to commit grave breaches of the Fourth Geneva Convention. These grave breaches constitute war crimes under Article 147 of the same Convention and Protocol (I) Additional to the Geneva Conventions.